Powerball Drawings Expand As Lottery Sales Soar In Tennessee

Posted on June 1, 2021 - Last Updated on June 2, 2021

Tennessee Lottery purchases have skyrocketed during the past year, and player winnings have seen a similar rise.

This has been the trend in other states as well. To contribute to that momentum, the lottery is adding additional drawings to some of its most popular games like Powerball.

Powerball drawings expand to three nights a week

Beginning Monday, Aug. 23, a third Powerball drawing will be added to the game’s weekly schedule.

Following Powerball’s national launch in April 1992, drawings have traditionally taken place each Wednesday and Saturday.

Back in January 2016, Powerball set the record for the world’s largest lottery payout. Three lucky winners divided the top prize of $1.58 billion.

Now, Powerball will expand to include a Monday night drawing, giving players one more day each week to hit the jackpot.

Tennessee Lottery sales continue upward trend

Powerball happens to be the Tennessee Education Lottery (TEL)’s most popular drawing-style game, generating roughly 9% of the corporation’s sales. Instant scratch-off games account for a whopping 79.8% of those sales.

Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville are the state’s largest markets.

Since the Tennessee Lottery’s inception on Jan. 20, 2004, players have purchased roughly $23.7 billion in tickets. Ten-year gross revenue reports for the TEL indicate that purchases have steadily increased by an average of 5.5% annually.

Instant game sales hit a single-day record this April, reaching $10.1 million in sales within a 24-hour period.

Those purchases quickly paid off for some fortunate ticket buyers. Tennessee Lottery players win an estimated $3 million in prizes each day.

Twenty-four fortunate players purchased winning tickets of $1 million or more during the 2020 fiscal year. In total, winners collected over $1.28 billion in prizes, amounting to more than $15.2 billion in winnings since 2004.

And since the beginning of 2021, eight players have won $1 million or more. So far, 315 players have won at least $1 million with Tennessee Lottery games.

Lottery taxes benefit Tennessee education initiatives

Even if you don’t win while playing the lottery, you win in other ways as a Tennessee resident.

The money that doesn’t go back into the pockets of lottery winners goes to benefit students across the state.

Net lottery purchases, after payouts and operational costs, are deposited into the TEL’s Lottery For Education account, which funds 14 different scholarship and grant initiatives.

Lottery For Education proceeds have increased by an average of 4.1% per year in the past 10 years.

In total, the Tennessee Lottery has raised almost $6 billion in education funding over the course of its existence. This amounts to 1.62 million scholarships and grants awarded to Tennessee students. During the 2019-2020 school year, roughly 151,000 students benefited from this funding.

Although most of these initiatives focus on secondary education, primary education is not entirely overlooked. The lottery’s unclaimed prize money goes to K-12 afterschool programs throughout the state, which have received over $228.3 million in funding.

As lottery purchases increase, so does education funding. So even when you’re not a lottery winner, Tennessee students will be.

Photo by Associated Press
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Alec Cunningham

As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. She then returned to her love of written word in 2000 after working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer. As a journalist, she's covered a variety of topics and currently specializes in Tennessee online sports betting and Virginia casino news. She served as a panelist at this year's All American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry.

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